Densho Digital Archive
Densho Visual History Collection
Title: Carolyn Takeshita Interview
Narrator: Carolyn Takeshita
Interviewer: Megan Asaka
Location: Denver, Colorado
Date: May 15, 2008
Densho ID: denshovh-tcarolyn-01-0001

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MA: So today is May 15, 2008, and I'm here with Carolyn Takeshita, and we're in Denver, Colorado. I'm Megan Asaka, and the cameraperson today is Dana Hoshide. So Carolyn, thanks so much for coming down here to do an interview with us.

CT: Thanks for asking.

MA: So I wanted to start with just a few basic questions. When were you born?

CT: In June 1937.

MA: And where were you born?

CT: In Los Angeles, California.

MA: And what was the name given to you at birth?

CT: Carol Kiyomi Yano.

MA: So I wanted to talk a little bit about your family background.

CT: Sure.

MA: And your grandparents were actually the ones who immigrated from Japan. Is that right?

CT: Right.

MA: So where did they, where are they from in Japan? I guess we can talk about your maternal grandparents.

CT: Let's see. My paternal grandparents are from Shikoku. And we haven't kept in real close contact with that side of the family. But my maternal grandparents, my grandfather was born in Fukuoka. And my mother, grandmother was from the Osaka area. And they met through "picture bride," you know, arrangements. When my grandfather was working here in Denver farming, and then somebody made an agreement with him and my grandmother, and so she came over.

MA: She came to Denver?

CT: She came, well, they landed in San Francisco and then he went to get her and then he brought her here to Colorado.

MA: So when your grandfather first came to the U.S., did he go straight to Colorado, or did he stop...

CT: No, he was very fortunate that he came from an area in Fukuoka called the Kasuya area, and I think it's kind of described as a county. And it is a county now. But back then, they had little villages and it seemed that three, first three young men were, you know, given the advantage of being able to come to, immigrate to the United States. So my grandfather and two people, two other men came and they were in San Francisco. And then they worked, they were picked up at the docks when the boat landed and taken to various jobs. And he and a couple of other men, not the ones that he came with, went to St. Helena, so he worked in a farming area in St. Helena. And then after that, he was hired by a family which ended up being the banker of the St. Helena Bank. And then he was saving his money so he could start a business with his friends. And so he went to San Francisco and then the earthquake happened. So at that time, then they wanted everybody to get out of the city, and he had a nephew living in the Denver area, so he walked and caught the train and then kind of told us he walked the rest of the way and came to Colorado from Utah.

MA: So he walked, he walked part of the way?

CT: I think he must have been with other people. And he's told us the stories, but I, he didn't really detail exactly who he came with, who he was with when he got off the train in Utah. So then he farmed here. And then went to get my grandmother and then my mother and her sisters and brother were all born here, in Colorado.

MA: Where in Colorado was he farming?

CT: He was farming up kind of in the north, northwest area. And you know, they went from farm to farm wherever they were contracted and things, so he lived in and around the Fort Lupton area, Fort Lupton, Platteville, Greeley, that area.

MA: And so your mother was born then in Colorado?

CT: In Colorado, uh-huh. So I'm old, but I'm a Sansei. [Laughs] And my cousins on both sides of the family are all Sansei.

MA: Okay.

CT: But like I said, we're older, so my age mates are all mostly Niseis.

MA: Right, interesting. Yeah.

<End Segment 1> - Copyright © 2008 Densho. All Rights Reserved.